The Corner

Post. Give Thanks For Ej Dionne

As 2004 draws to a close, I just want to give thanks for Washington Post

columnist EJ Dionne. We can hope that he remains influential among

liberals. His ceaseless peddling of the disconnected bi-coastal

conventional wisdom will help ensure that the political conditions cemented

in last months elections endure.

In his column today, gives

“Lessons for Democrats.” They are: 1) to understand that the reason Bush

won is because of negative campaigning, nothing more, nothing less; 2)

liberals need to “expose” conservative contradictions between tradition and

the market; 3) liberals should aggressively wage class warfare; 4) liberals

could create a better narrative about an effective war on terrorism through

better policies on jobs, health insurance, child care, and so on.

I couldn’t agree more. Please, please, please, please follow Dionne’s lead.

No conservative ideas were better, we just manipulated the masses through

negativism. We haven’t spent 200 years building a solid political

philosophy that accommodates the various tensions of conservativism (like

tradition and freedom) – we’re just sitting here waiting to be “exposed.”

American’s aren’t aspirational and socially mobile – they like to resent

success and are only waiting for a really good and angry populist to lead

the attack. And Democrats can definitely return to their Truman national

security heritage with a bigger focus on health insurance.

Now there is a guy with his finger on the pulse……of Massachusetts

Avenue, NW. Thank the lord that is the opposition.

John Hillen, a former Assistant Secretary of State, is the James C. Wheat Professor in Leadership at Hampden-Sydney College’s Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest, and a member of the NR, Inc. Board of Directors.


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